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Beaverstock 2015 Barn Sessions

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One of the best parts about my role with Beaverstock is building relationships with local musicians and helping them reach a broader audience with their amazing music. Last year we decided to try something new and invited Moonshiner Collective and Proxima Parada out to the barn to record some live video and just see what transpired. The results were truly special and the relationships we built were the real deal.

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This year, mainly on the Stomping Grounds Stage, we have significantly ramped up the amount of local talent featured at Beaverstock. Deciding to do another “Barn Sessions” shoot was a no brainer so we invited out The Mother Corn Shuckers, Chris Beland, The Turkey Buzzards and Bear Market Riot for round two and the results were spectacular. One highlight in particular was Chris Beland singing with his daughter Harmony, who is just the cutest thing in the world and incredibly talented at that!

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Please take a moment to look over and enjoy these wonderful sessions and if you can, come out and support these local musicians at Beaverstock on September 19th and 20th!

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It’s a beautiful time of year at Castoro!

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It’s a beautiful time of year at Castoro Cellars, and as usual we have a wide variety of ways to enjoy this wonderful season. If you haven’t been by recently, we have done a lot of work to our garden area and have also added some fun games and more picnic space. One of my favorite additions is the flag stone patio directly outside of our tasting room entrance. We have always had a flagstone space here but it is now much larger, and much more level, making it a great spot to picnic or enjoy a glass (or bottle) of Dam Fine Wine in the shade.

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Even through the drought, our established grove of trees that surround our garden area are hanging in there and continuing to provide that wonderful shade we all seek out on the hot summer days. Two weekends back we had the wonderful Laurence Juber perform on our outdoor stage and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening. As Laurence and his band were playing, our guests were enamored with a beautiful sunset and rainbow as the backdrop for the first set of music. It was absolutely spectacular and one of those moments that make us all realize what is so special about Paso Robles and the Central Coast.

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We’ve also continued our yoga series at Castoro and have expanded to weekday evening classes with great success. Taking place in our gardens, guests enjoy an hour long all levels yoga class, followed by wine and snacks. If you’re into yoga and love the outdoors I highly recommend these classes, as they are the perfect blend of both. Not to mention the tasty wine and sunsets that come after : ) Fore more information click HERE

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I hope you’ve all got Beaverstock on your calendars and hopefully you’ve gotten your tickets as well! This year’s festival is looking to be our biggest and most diverse yet and we can’t wait to share it with you. We have been working tirelessly to enhance the experience and give you all the time of your lives. Guests can expect a wider variety of food, games, beverage and music all with an enhanced vibe and feel.

As always, don’t forget to check our events page to see what we have in store and please come visit us if you can during this wonderful time of year. I promise you won’t regret it!



“Due Mila Nove” is in the bottle!

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After a very long (and worthwhile) wait, we are proud to continue our “Due Mila” series with the upcoming release of our “Due Mila Nove” blend. The “Due Mila” series, which translates to “Two Thousand” in English, is a blend we started with the new millennium and continued year after year. The name “Due Mila Nove” translates to 2009 and marks our 9th edition of the millennium blend series and is not a reference to the wine’s vintage, which is 2012. As with all of the “Due Mila” releases the “Due Mila Nove” is a Bordeaux blend meaning it only contains wine from grapes that originate in the Bordeaux region of France. The blend on this particular release is 55% Malbec, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Petit Verdot with an alcohol of 14.4%.

This particular blend is a very exciting one for us as the 2012 vintage was very strong in Paso and these wines showed great aging potential. As a result, this “Due Mila Nove” was aged for over two years (26 months) on French and American oak, making it possibly our longest barrel aged wine ever! The profile of the wine is a very nice balance of fruit, oak and tannin with wonderful potential for extended aging in your cellar. I was fortunate enough to try the wine for the first time a few nights ago and I was truly amazed with the fullness and depth of flavor. This is not a wine you’ll want to miss!

Due to the uniqueness of this release we decided to revamp the packaging as well and truly commemorate the beauty of this wine. Hence, the “Due Mila Nove,” will be our second blend to be in a screen-printed bottle, with the first being our anniversary series. This is truly an elegant wine and we feel our new package reflects the elegance, quality and distinction of this limited release blend. Case production on this release is very low so you’ll want to make sure and get this while you can so stay tuned for the upcoming release.

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On another note, this past weekend we hosted a wonderfully successful blending party entitled “Make Your Own Dam Wine” where wine club members were able to make and bottle their own blends using nothing other than Castoro Cellars “Dam Fine Wine.” Members also got to vote on our next “Dam Fine Red Wine” blend that will be released later this year. This kind of collaboration and fun is what makes our wine club such a unique experience and is what keeps us loving what we do!



Beaverstock 2015 Lineup is here!

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It’s official, the Beaverstock 2015 lineup is here and we could not be happier with how it turned out! After lots of research (attending live shows/festivals) and deliberation we have put together a lineup of artists that we truly feel represent the philosophy and mission of Beaverstock. Not only do we have world-class talent, we have a wonderful variety of musical genres and styles.

Our goal with the Beaverstock musical lineup is to bring you music that you may or may not have heard of but that we know will leave you with an everlasting impression. Each and every artist that will take to the stage has been hand picked by us because we were truly moved, inspired or amazed with their live performance. There is nothing better than an unforgettable live show and there will be no shortage of memories made at this year’s festival.

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Our Saturday headliner, Dawes, is one such band that utterly blew us away when we saw them perform. They have been on our list of bands to bring since year one and luckily for us this year it worked out! Dawes is the type of band that only comes along every so often and portrays an authenticity in their music that can be related to Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and other artists of that nature. After their second release they were asked to open for Bob Dylan on tour and subsequently joined Jackson Browne on tour as his opening act and backing band. These guys are the real deal and we can’t wait for you to experience the magic with us.

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Our Sunday headliner, WAR, needs little explanation as their iconic music has resonated with millions of people for decades. WAR brings to the table a long list of hit songs and a live performance that will have everyone on their feet or at least on the edge of their seat! Last time we saw WAR perform, we all left with giant smiles on our faces and to say the least we had a very groovy time….

Some other groups we are particularly excited to bring are up and comers the California Honeydrops, La Santa Cecilia, Birds of Chicago, The Bills, SambaDá and the Brothers Comatose. These groups bring such an eclectic mix of music to the table and a level of talent that can’t be beat. The California Honeydrops are one of the most entertaining live groups we have ever seen. They blend the worlds of New Orleans street music, Delta blues and Southern soul in a way that is undeniably fun and unforgettable. Birds of Chicago have now performed at our tasting room twice with both shows selling out and leaving the audience begging for more. The husband and wife duo that front the group are wonderful harmonizers, storytellers and melody makers. Another “SLO Folks” act that has graced our Tasting Room stage over the years are the Bills who will bring an eclectic blend of blue grass, soul, jazz and instrumental virtuosity.

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La Santa Cecilia, Grammy award winner for Best Latin Rock Album, were utterly amazing on the main stage at Live Oak Music Festival last summer and we immediately knew we had to have them at Beaverstock. Their latino sound is fronted by lead vocalist La Marisoul who sings with a passion that will send goose bumps down your spine. SambaDá also brings a world music flavor to Beaverstock with samba insprired Brazilian dance music. I actually had the pleasure of opening for SamaDá in college up in Chico, CA and I will never forget the energy and dance they bring to their live shows. SambaDá is not only a show of live music they are an expression of Brazilian dance and heritage. The Brothers Comatose, who were a last minute addition to this year’s lineup, will definitely be a group people talk about for years to come. Known for high energy, audience engaging shows, their blue grass sound will resonate perfectly with Beaverstock festivalgoers.

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As usual we’ve also got a great representation of local music at the festival including the Tipsy Gypsies, The Mother Corn Shuckers, One Time Spaceman, Guy Budd with Inga Swearingen, Bear Market Riot, Chris Beland and the Turkey Buzzards. This is the cream of the crop of local talent and every artist has expressed an amazing passion for being involved with this year’s event.

To learn more about our amazing line up and listen to the music visit and stay tuned for more updates and info on Beaverstock 2015.

Remember, “Eager Beaver” discounted tickets are on sale now for a limited time, prices will go up soon!



Fennel Crusted Salmon with BF Pinot Noir!

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Salmon. I can’t think of an ingredient that is more quintessentially Northwest. It’s by no means just a tourist thing. It’s true, the locals eat it regularly. Every restaurant has it on the menu. Many Seattleites have “a guy” – that very special friend who has a boat who regularly hits the water and has an unholy amount of the bounty sitting in his chest freezer in his basement. If you’re lucky “your guy” shares with you. My “guy” is actually a girl I met in college 10 years ago, who even back then was spending weekends on the Sound fishing with her family rather than hitting the bars like the rest of us college kids. This ups her coolness factor by about 100 points. Anyways, I digress. We love our salmon.

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When my girl doesn’t have any she’s willing to part with, I head to Pike Place Market. If you’ve ever watched any sporting event being broadcast from Seattle you’ve seen the market. It’s where the guys toss the fish. Now that particular vendor is a little touristy for my tastes (Fish shouldn’t be thrown, it should be caressed and babied like a small, cherished child) so I head a few stalls down to see my friends at Pure Food Fish. I talk to Harry, who has been working there since 1970 and is something of a legend in Seattle for the consistent quality of the product.

Most instinctively reach for a white wine when pairing with a seafood, especially with salmon. However, I’m here to tell you that while that generally is a safe bet, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that reds, like a certain Blind Faith Pinot Noir for example, pair very well with salmon.

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While there are a million fantastic ways to prepare salmon, be it smoked, cured, baked or poached, I really enjoy my salmon pan roasted with a spice crust. The following is a recipe I have been playing around with exploring how spice, fish, and wine interact. You’ll find the fennel interacts nicely with the fruit and blackberry notes in the Blind Faith Pinot Noir.

I hope you enjoy!

Fennel Crusted Salmon
1.5 T fennel seeds
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
(4) 6-8oz fillets of King salmon or your favorite salmon

Combine all herbs in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Blend well into a fine powder.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat nonstick pan on medium high. Pat salmon fillets dry on all sides with a paper towel.

While pan is heating, generously season the flesh of each fillet with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of spice mixture. Generously sprinkle a big pinch of salt across the flesh. Add olive oil to hot pan. Add salmon with the flesh side down to the pan. Briefly and gently shake pan forwards and backwards to slide salmon around in pan. (This prevents sticking.) Sear salmon in pan until spice crust is a lovely brown color, approximately 2-3 minutes. Gently flip salmon so skin side is down. Transfer and place pan in oven. If your pan isn’t oven safe you can transfer the salmon to an aluminum foil lined baking sheet or a baking dish. Bake for approximately 5-7 minutes until salmon flakes easily or reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F*.

I recommend serving with carrot confit and steamed edamame. If you’d like a recipe shoot an email ( my way or hit me up on social media and I’d be happy to share mine with you. On instagram @88keyslayer

*Being a Pacific Northwest guy, I prefer my salmon medium. Some health departments recommend cooking your salmon to “well” which is 145 degrees F.



2015 Winter Update!

After a wet start to the rain season we had one of the driest Januaries on record and we sure felt it. Throughout January the weather was warm, sunny and often times in the mid to upper 70s! I’m not gonna lie, it was great Disc Golfing and beach weather but also a bit unsettling. As I write this post the winds are blowing outside and a small storm system is headed our way from Northern California. It won’t bring much rain but anything is better than nothing and definitely needed in these dry times. Despite the dry weather we have been experiencing very cool and incredibly foggy mornings here on the west side of Paso Robles, resulting in difficult driving conditions and beautiful vineyard landscapes. Bimmer walks the vineyards almost every morning and captures amazing photos of the seasonal changes we experience that I will share with you here!

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Aside from the unpredictable weather patterns, things at Castoro Cellars are better than ever. Our newly added Whale Rock Disc Golf Course has been gaining immense popularity within the community and we are also seeing people traveling far distances to come play a round amongst the vines. Lots of patrons are even bringing out their small children who absolutely love being out on the course. In an effort to make the sport more approachable we are hosting an introduction to Disc Golf event for wine club members, with lessons being given by the local group SLO Throwers. SLO Throwers members will give an introduction to the sport followed by lessons on how to play. The event will be held on February 21st and will be enjoyable and valuable to players of all skill levels. Space is limited so please RSVP for the event if interested by e-mailing

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As many of you have seen, our wines continue to take home amazing scores and one wine in particular has had another amazing year. Our Zinfandel Zinfusion Reserve recently scored 92 points in the Wine Enthusiast as well as Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. It is pretty amazing to watch this wine out do itself year after year and we can’t credit our winemaking team enough for this success. We have one of the hardest working and most knowledgeable winemaking teams around and their dedication continues to shine in our wines. If you haven’t tried our Zinfusion, now is the time!

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With February here, lets all hope for a wet end to this winter and a nice and moist spring to follow. We have lots of exciting things coming to our blog so stay tuned and never hesitate to surf our website for all the upcoming events at our Tasting Room.



Greg Ehrlich Introductory Blog Post

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My name is Greg Ehrlich and I play organ for soul singer Allen Stone. This fall our band had the pleasure of playing the Beaverstock Festival at Castoro Cellars. It was there that we were introduced to this winery with a beautiful property in Paso Robles, an amazing little festival we had never heard of and a special family we could immediately tell was passionate about their product and their community. Over the next few months I’ll be guest-posting periodically on the Castoro Cellars blog about experiences I’ve had with food and Castoro Cellars wines. But first a little backstory about how I came to meet Castoro Cellars and how all this came to be.

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Rolling in to Beaverstock I had no idea what to expect. Our band travels around 300 days a year and we’ve played shows on six continents. Not trying to brag as much as make the point that we’ve been to a lot of places and played a lot of unique events. It was immediately apparent Beaverstock was different than the rest. When we arrived, it was piping hot out but massive oak trees provided gentle shade over the stage and grounds. People were casually wandering, sipping wine, eating food. My type of environment. Little art installations were dotted over the grounds…it was like a scaled down version of a big budget festival like Bonnaroo, but with a helluva lot more heart and soul. Our band drank wine all day, got a tour of some of the vineyards, played a little Frisbee…not a bad way to spend a day on the job. We watched the Band of Heathens play on the main stage as the sun set, and tea lights that had been strung through a massive oak tree lit up providing a warm glow as the music continued. It was a fantastic night. Our band had an absolute blast performing and it was the perfect way to start our fall tour. We hope to be back!

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Apart from being the organ player for Allen, I’m also a diehard food lover and enthusiastic chef. I’ve been cooking since childhood, and have always had a love for how food (and as I got older wine) brought people together. On tour when I’m not on stage playing organ for Allen, often I can be found backstage cooking for our band with my TasteCase, a portable kitchen I built and take all over with us. Over the course of our most recent fall tour, I made approximately 30 dishes, everything from pan-seared salmon with grapefruit beurre blanc to blackberry cobbler. Over wine at Beaverstock I was telling Luke from Castoro about my experiences. We concocted a little idea that I would do some experimenting to see how Castoro wines interacted with some of the dishes I was creating, blogging along the way. I’ll take any excuse to open up a nice bottle of wine so I was game.

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I’ll be authoring several posts over the next few months focusing on recipes I am working on, new and old. I was lucky enough to snag some bottles of Castoro to take home after tour, and I’m really excited to see how these wines interact with dishes I’m working on. I’ll be posting recipes, tips, and pairing ideas for some of your favorite Castoro wines. I’d love to hear from you during the process. Let me know if you give one of my recipes a go, or share with me one of your favorites. You can email me at or follow me on Instagram at @88keyslayer.

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Let’s cook together.

Let them sleep…

(The following blog was written by Niels Udsen as part of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Grower Blog series)

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People always ask, “when is the slow time in the wine business?” If there ever was one it may be now (at least for the vines). There is a blip of time after harvest and before the year-end holiday commotion where the vines and the rest of us need to take a break. Naturally, Mother Nature sends in some cold weather and the vines take the hint. They drop their leaves and hunker down for the winter only to be disturbed by pruning sometime before spring wakes them up again. No doubt, it is a beautiful time in the vines. The colors are amazing. Each variety has its own fall color and habit. Fields with multiple blocks of different varieties are a mosaic of yellows, reds, greens and oranges. Once a hard frost comes through, it all goes brown very quickly.

I say let them sleep in (me too) and soak up some wonderful rainfall into their root systems. The key is rainfall during this period. As the vines are slumbering and our blip of downtime passes, we begin to attend to many chores in the vineyard. If it rains enough to make tractor work too messy, we will begin ordering vine replacements for dead vines from gophers, winter kill, tractor blight and who knows what. It is an important time to go through all the equipment and make sure all is in perfect shape for the coming growing season. Depending on the windows of opportunity in the vineyard, we need to be ready to hit it hard. With many things in life, as with farming, timing is critical. Catch the weeds when they sprout, and they are easily handled. If one misses the opportunity, they quickly grow to a foot tall, and it can require multiple tractor passes and even a hand crew to accomplish the same task. The same principle applies to planting, pruning, insect control, etc.

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One thing the drought has allowed is that we can get in the vineyard quickly after a rain, as the ground is so dry that it sucks the moisture down immediately with little run off. Currently most people are preparing the soil for cover crops to be planted in the vine rows. The cover crops help prevent erosion, create a habitat for beneficial insects and help control some noxious weeds. We tend to work every other row at a time allowing us better access throughout the year. The worked-up areas are softer and get very muddy restricting our access into the vineyard. As the cover crops take off, the soil firms up again.

As exciting as harvest can be, this time of year is equally precious in its own way. There is something about the anticipation of a next great vintage while watching the sleeping vines. What secrets do they have hidden in their woody stalks? Will Mother Nature be our friend or foe? We like to think we have some control, but really we are along for the ride and need to be attentive and react as directed.

Sleep well my friends,

Niels Udsen

Whale Rock Disc Golf Course Update!

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The Whale Rock Disc Golf Course at Castoro Cellars has now been open for roughly three months and watching it come alive has been quite amazing. When we decided to put in the course we had no idea how it would be received but we knew it would be something special. My brother Max was the brainchild of the course and also the builder/designer of the course, making it something we feel very connected to. Recently we made a short promo video for the course (see link above) to give you all a feel for the sport the course and what to expect on a visit to the Whale Rock Disc Golf Course. If you have a moment, check out the video, share it with friends and start planning your visit!

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One of the things that make the course a lot of fun is the variety of basket locations. Many of the holes on the course have 2 and in some cases 3 alternate locations for the baskets. Not only does this impact the difficulty of the shots but adds variety and keeps the course interesting for those who play on a regular basis. As with all things Castoro, community plays a big role and we have partnered with a local Disc Golf club called the SLO Throwers to help with maintenance on the course and basket rotation. The SLO Throwers will be rotating the baskets twice a month starting in December, which is pretty cool if you ask me!

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To date we have had hundreds of people enjoy the course and there is hardly a day that passes without a group or two or three or more on the course. Seeing the community come out and enjoy the beauty of the Whale Rock Vineyard has been a very fulfilling experience and I can proudly say everyone has been extremely respectful during their visits. We don’t have a lot of rules but the rules we do have are in place for good reason and we really appreciate everyone’s understanding and respectful play so far!

If you haven’t already, plan a trip out to Castoro and make sure to try out a round on the Whale Rock Disc Golf Course. The sport is great for all ages and if nothing else is a great way to hike amongst the vines and soak in the true beauty of Paso Robles wine country.



That’s a wrap!

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It’s official, the 2014 harvest is over and it’s not even Thanksgiving! In fact, we were technically done with harvest before November, which hasn’t happened in a very long time. The last of our grapes, being Late Harvest Zinfandel from the Cobble Creek Vineyard, were picked on Halloween only hours before it started to rain. According to Niels the last grapes were off the vine only 30 minutes before the rain started coming down.

I probably sound like a broken record, but we are looking at 2014 as being a very good year in regards to quality. All of the fruit that came in was ripe and in some cases very ripe, which in tougher years isn’t always the case and can often be the biggest challenge. The Growing Degree Days, or GDD, for 2014 were very similar to 1997, which was a great year so we are hoping to see this vintage go down as one to remember and hold on to!

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The last grapes to come in on ol’ Hallows Eve were none other than our Cobble Creek Late Harvest Zinfandel. In order to get the grapes to the sugar lever we need for this wine we have to harvest it later, hence the name “Late Harvest.” The extended hang time on the vine allows the sugar levels to climb and condense as the berries begin to resemble raisins (see photo). The 2014 Late Harvest Zin is now in fermentation out at the winery and currently at around 12% alcohol. Soon that will change, as we will fortify the wine with our in house Brandy that has been distilled on our still. I will get more into the distillation situation soon so stay tuned, it is pretty exciting stuff!

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As we bid farewell to the 2014 harvest season we hope you all had a wonderful Fall, Halloween, Indian Summer and beyond. Now we welcome winter and the Holiday season with open arms and continue to stay optimistic for rain, rain and more rain. We got just shy of an inch of rain on Halloween so fingers are crossed to keep it coming!